We Meet by Kenneth Patchen

    New Directions publishing is re-releasing the works of Kenneth Patchen in a new collection entitled We Meet at the end of July this year. It is a collection of Patchen books including Because It Is, Poemscapes, Hurrah for Anything, and A flame and Afun of Walking Faces.
    One striking element of this book is its relevance to the current poetry scenes. Patchen’s combinations of phanopoetic ideas, like “chairabbit,” “beduck,” “lilacat” and “goosetoothdawn,” are similar to those used by contemporary poets like Rodrigo Toscano although Patchen keeps them significantly more nonsensical. Patchen’s integration of image into, or placing next to, the text is becoming more and more common in recent poet’s work. Patchen’s images offer little to no clarification in his work. This shows Patchen’s will to be cryptic in the same way Ashbery is in his work.
    Patchen’s use of words that combine ideas and integration of image with text contribute to his child-like crypticism. Most things he has to say are hard to spot under the surface of faux-innocence, ignorance, conversational text, and strange and silly images inside and outside the text. This collection opens a window to peer in upon one of the most seemingly contemporaneous poets from the first half of the 20th century.

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